ROOTS commemorates International Day of the Girl Child
October 10, 2017
The International Day of the Girl Child 2017 commemorations signaled the birth of a renewed effort of empowering adolescent girls and young women with self-pride. The celebrations were premised on offering mentorship, adequate sexual reproductive health rights information, career guidance and moral support. The ability to show girls and young women that their contributions to society are not only important but rather are vital to the general success of society was the message in all the different activities. As women can contribute significantly to improve the gross domestic product of most developing countries only if inclusive spaces are created for women and girls to equally participate in productive sectors of the economy and can attain high political offices.
ROOTS in association with UNICEF organized a series of activities that sought to take pride in the girl child which ran under the theme “The Power of the Adolescent Girl Vision 2030” the activities ranged from Mentorship Sessions, Exhibitions, Music and Poetry shows that ran under the event names Sisters Open Mic, Girls Speak Out Event and the Intergenerational day of Dialogue respectively.
The sister’s Open Mic was an entrancing music and poetry show were young girls took to the stage to express their inner most desires and fears under the cloud of support and entertainment. The message was direct and clear that girls have the gifts, capacity and commitment to become equal players in society and what is only needed is the opening up of closed spaces for women to thrive in society. The overall objective of the event was to create a safe space for girls to show case their potential in the field of arts as traditionally women involved in the arts sector were recognized with negative stereotypes of being mistaken to be prostitute’s failures who have failed to penetrate other sectors of economy. Therefore, little or no attention was paid to girls securing careers in the arts industry hence the event sought to celebrate with women and girls in creative art industries.
A young girl reciting her poem during the Sisters’ open mic event
October 10 Girls speak out event
The International day of the girl child is a concept that has been established to put the concerns of girls around the world on the fore front of the developmental agenda. It is worrying in this day and age that most girls do not assert or know their sexual reproductive health rights. October 10 Girls speak out event went a long way in affirming the rights of girls in Zimbabwe in asserting their rights. The celebration of what makes women proud was clad in dance, laughter and music as the capital took time to honor what makes it tick to be a women. The premature end to girls lives through child marriage, un planned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases was castigated by the combination of stakeholders that supported the event. Girls from various economic divides were united in ascertaining their rights in the community as a very important demographic that has a lot to offer in the development of this country and the continent at large. The multi sectors; approach that brought together a significant number of nonprofit organizations showcasing , exhibiting and according services to the public gave a lasting impression to the congregants that the girls cause was fully represented and well catered for
Women accessing family planning during the Girls Speak out event
October 11 Intergenerational Day of dialogue was a fountain of dialogue and inspiration which has the ability to change the course of life of individuals willing to listen and be brave to change the trajectory. The intergenerational dialogue took a significant turn in the lives of numerous girls who took time to be part in the dialogue.as, The past experiences of women who were then girls fused with the challenges girls are facing in the modern day era signified a bold step in synthesizing the challenges both generations reached which if not dealt in girlhood can overreach to women hood hence the dialogue brought a consented effort to the quest to bring a dignified life for the girl child. Gender representation was also present at the event with men asserting the need to be gentlemen in protection of girl’s rights as there were the future mothers and wives of the younger generations. The coming together of women and girl movements in sharing ideas and lessons learnt goes a long way in challenging retrogressive social norms for the eventual achievement of gender equality and equal opportunities. The underlying principle that was expressed by numerous speakers on the day was the need for individuals to take precedence in their self-pride and not let peer pressure, background, stereo types determines one’s trajectory but rather resilience, patience and commitment will all brew a recipe of success.
In a nutshell the thrust of the commemorations was to put the concerns of girls around the world on the fore front of the developmental agenda as it is worrying in this day and age that most girls do not assert or know their rights. However with more reach out activities the girls agenda will continue to grow and develop